Sunday, April 04, 2010

An evaluation of a re-offender program

Pro Bono Economics "is a new charity whose aim is to broker economists into the charitable sector to help on short and medium-term assignments, typically addressing questions around measurement, results and impact.
Charitable work can have wider social and economic benefits. Quantitative evaluations by economists can help in measuring those benefits and in determining the most effective ways of channelling support to achieve them."
They have just produced their first report, which was provided by Frontier Economics an excellent economics consultancy based in London. The report "evaluates the benefits of the St Giles’ “Through the Gates” programme. The programme is aimed at reducing the rate of re-offending. It provides a range of services including pre-release assessment and, following release, accommodation and help in reintegration and employment search. In examining the economic impact of the Through the Gates programme at St Giles, Frontier Economics has confirmed the value of this important work."
Frontier estimates Benefit/Cost ratios of the order of 10 to 1. This report is a really good read, a good example of economics applied to an important topic and of the Pro Bono project.

(h/t Colm Harmon)

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